When the Economy goes down, one thing DOES go up. 5 Tips to protect yourself from fraud.
It’s been a long standing tradition that when the economy goes through rough waters, fraud and theft increase. So, while you’re staying nearer to home to maintain your physical health, here are some tips to have in mind that will help you protect your FINANCIAL health.
- Don’t be rushed. Whatever the call, email, text, or social media post that you just received is about, remember that scammers try INTENTIALLY to rush you to respond. Legitimate people (typically) don’t. Stop, and think clearly before you respond to anything. Con-artists are called con-artists for a reason, they can be exceptionally skilled at triggering your fear. When we react with fear, its reacting emotionally, and significantly reduces our changes of catching red flags.
- Check it out. Before you act on something – stop. Do some research. Before you click ANY link, look closely at it, and look closely at who sent it. If it’s an email, does the name of the sender match the actual email address that it came from? Sadly, It takes an increasingly well trained eye to catch these things sometimes so double check before you click on anything.
- Keep in touch with the FTC. Sign up for Consumer Alerts to help spot scams: ftc.gov/subscribe. And watch for the latest at ftc.gov/coronavirus. (And if you feel that you’ve been victimized, be sure to report scams to the FTC at ftc.gov/complaint. (Your report may not get your money back but it can help reduce the chances of someone else falling prey to the same activity!)
- Review your credit report, from each agency at least once a year. Yes, that means you need to review 3 credit reports PER year. Relax, it’s not that difficult with online access and it’s a great #Quarantine activity!
- And finally, consider a fraud alert or credit freeze. Which you go with is a personal decision and will be based on your credit situation. You can learn more about those at https://www.consumer.ftc.gov/articles/0279-extended-fraud-alerts-and-credit-freezes
So next time they say “be safe out there”, I would add to that, “have your eye open and continue to stay safe in here”!